Monday, 15 September 2014

Tuesday Poem: Black Sun

BLACK SUN

`Where does this black sun come from?  Out
of what eerie galaxy do its invisible, lethargic 
rays reach me, pinning me to the ground,
to my bed, compelling me to silence . .'
Julia Kristeva


There is a black sun
that shines on me
sometimes.  Her light
illuminating inner
landscapes;  cadences
of darkness,

every object
newly signified.

Through the black holes
of her eyes
new spectrums of vision
make the nakedness of things
visible.

There is a pause
between one linear moment
and the next.

In its silence
I hear the inter-stellar
static of the universe

alive with volcanic
semiology.

She is a black mirror.
In her face I see
my dark self
dancing.

© Kathleen Jones

This is dedicated to all my friends, and everyone else, who suffers from depression.  If you would like to read more poems around this subject, then please take a look at 'Voicing Shadow, Singing Light,' Carolyn Jess-Cooke's project exploring depression with poems by Ian Duhig, Andrew Forster, Kim Moore, Carrie Etter, Sean Burn and a host of others. 

Real depression isn't just getting 'a bit low' or 'feeling depressed' - everyone feels like that at times. No, real depression blanks out the sun and can even make you question your identity.  Adrienne Rich describes it in 'Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law' - 

"Sometimes she's let the tapstream scald her arm,
 a match burn to her thumbnail,

 or held her hand above the kettle's snout
 right in the woolly steam . . .
 since nothing hurts her anymore, except
 each morning's grit blowing into her eyes."

 In episodes of depression I've held my hand over a candle flame in order to see whether I could still feel anything at all. Suicidal thoughts creep in because you can't see any reason for staying alive and may even believe that your loved ones are better off without you. But many writers and artists find that in some extraordinary way, the darkness has a creative side to it, though it's also possible that we are more likely to suffer from depression because of the amount of introspection and self-searching that creative activity involves. It's a question I can't answer.

The Tuesday Poets share a poem every Tuesday.  There are 28 of us from all around the world.  This week Helen Lowe in NZ is sharing Anna Akhmatova's 'July 1914'.    And the Tuesday Poem hub is featuring  'SS Ventnor' by Chinese poet Chris Tse. If you would like to read this and see what else the Tuesday Poets are sharing please click on this link...... 

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